You’re invited to our annual meeting and harvest dinner, where we’ll look back on the achievements of the past year and express our sincere appreciation for your continued support. Your presence is important to us, as it provides an opportunity to both connect and reflect. We hope to see you there!
A special thank you goes to Bill McLaren for again generously hosting us at Tyrone Farm.
In order to off-set some of the expenses associated with this event, we have established a cost of $25 per person and we will have a cash bar. One drink ticket (beer or wine) will be included per adult attendee. Non-alcoholic drinks will be available at no cost.
Equestrians, we invite you to spend a beautiful fall day riding on some of the Wyndham Land Trust's most spectacular preserves. The seven-mile trail ride will take you through land acquired by the land trust that protects threatened wildlife habitat, sensitive wetlands, and bio-diverse open spaces. Land that can be enjoyed by all, in perpetuity.
The Townshend parcel of WLT’s Nightingale Woods Preserve was backdrop this fall to area resident Donna Dufresne's ongoing research of the Randall family, some of its early inhabitants. Partnering with the Pomfret Historical Society, a series of four workshops, Waking the Dead: Archaeology, Genealogy and Archival Research of Enslaved Africans and Native Americans, covered the local history, techniques of working with primary, original documents, African American genealogy, grave stone restoration, and more.
It is believed that enslaved African Americans are buried at the family cemetery, but in unmarked graves.
The WLT is pleased to partner in the effort to help shed light on the past habitation of this land and to commemorate the individuals whose graves were not marked when they died.
Our fundraising effort was a success!
Thank you to all our generous donors who made the memorial stone possible. We are so grateful to those supporters who make conservation possible and whose curiosity helps us to go even deeper to discover the history hidden in our forests. Thank you!
You’re standing in the middle of The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor, a region framed by the Quinebaug and Shetucket Rivers that encompasses 26 towns in eastern CT and 9 towns just over the border in Massachusetts.
There are 55 National Heritage Areas around the country and they all have unique landscapes and stories to tell. Our region was designated a National Heritage Corridor by Congress back in 1994 because of our rich history and our important natural resources.
Since then, for more than 25 years, our organization has been working hard to protect our natural resources and to share and celebrate our region’s history.
But as so often happens, over time, we to tend to repeat the history and the stories we grew up with, the narratives that are most familiar and comfortable. We ignore uncomfortable truths that don’t fit the narrative we know – slavery? Not here. That was a southern problem, not a northern one.
Yet here we are, honoring enslaved people who lived, prayed, worked and died on this land. People whose story has been hidden in the shadows and the darkness, and whose stories were not included in the history books I grew up with.
Certainly, the last 2-3 years of the pandemic have reinforced what many of us already knew, that The Last Green Valley’s wide-open spaces – abundant forests, fresh air, miles of trails – are critical to our physical, mental and spiritual health. Wyndham Land Trust has been leader in protecting open space for wildlife and people to enjoy.
Yet it is also abundantly clear that the residents of this corner of northeast CT are strikingly homogenous in skin tone. And sadly, it is also clear that many people of color, even those who live nearby, don’t feel comfortable visiting our open spaces.
I’m sure none of us mean to be exclusionary, we try to be open and inviting. Yet the narratives we have been telling ourselves for generations are so deeply ingrained that’s its hard to be open to a different truth. But step by step, we can change.
So to everyone here who has supported this project, to Donna Dufresne, to Janet Booth, and to the rest of the members of the Wyndham Land Trust, thank you. You are shining a light on a hidden past, giving voice those who were silenced, and you’ve added new perspectives to the stories we tell about ourselves. We are richer for it.
And by sharing a more complete and complex history, you have also shined a light on the path to the future, a future that is more diverse and inclusive, with equity and justice for all.
You are trailblazers in The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor, and an example for other land trusts to follow. We are grateful and we thank you for this important work. I am honored to be with you here today.